Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mennonite Country for Old Men: Reconnaissance

A couple of days ago I rode the Nith River race course.  I had imagined it was longer.  Thought I would do about 3 or 4 laps.  My mistake, turns out each lap is only about 10 minutes or so. So I did 9 or 10.  Wellesley is a fairly small town, just west of Waterloo.  Not as north as St. Jacobs or Elmira though, although  a lot of Mennonite's or 'Menno's' still  call the area home.  A certain hint that you are in the area is sudden proliferation of horse crap all over the road, the closer you get.

Before I ventured into in Martial arts,  XC racing and ultimately road racing I used to have a dog sled team.  As pictured below you can see we had fun.  Didn't win too much, or even impress at the races.......but had a ton of fun.  Looking back I can say with complete honesty that those were some of the best and most fun years of my life.  Ripping across frozen farmland in -10 or colder.  No sound save for the faint sound of paws compressing the snow.  The faint sounds of  panting as the dogs found their rhythm.  The lead dog almost always belongs to the driver,  you tend to trust your own dog.  In my case we were no different.  He was my best friend.  He was among the most well behaved Siberian Huskys I had ever had the good fortune of meeting.  If dog sled sprint racing was a little easier to do in Ontario I would not be riding bikes nearly as much.  I hope I can get on another sled sometime.

                                       Trev, Nakoda, Leika, Toomit, Akasha, Nuka and Tajo

The Nith River race next week is special to me as my team was named for that river.  Nith River Racing Siberians.  We would often train along the river and the surrounding farms, in the autumn and especially in the winter.  While checking out the course it brought back a ton of memories for me.   Sometimes it's sad to look back.  Life always seems like it was a little better when you  look back.  At least if you are fortunate enough to have great memories like I have.

                                                  Definitely the most scenic of the OCUP races

The course has some rollers but no real climbs to worry about.  I do hope that the corners get swept off before bodies get hauled off.  Overall its a very safe course.  I imagine it's about a 5km loop, although I bet the website has that detail.  A few good spots to get away and be out of sight shortly after.   I think I can see where the attacks will go.

Lets all join hands and pray  that the God of Rain  doesn't sully another fine race.

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